Confused? If (like this writer), Harry Potter’s secondary school career roughly matched yours year for year, you may be wondering why the wizard isn’t in his mid-Twenties.
But Potter wasn’t born in the late Eighties, instead James and Lily welcomed their bundle of joy into the world on 31 July 1980, which also happens to be the same birthday as JK Rowling who turns 50 today.
How was Harry Potter born in 1980?
Nearly Headless Nick celebrated the 500th anniversary of his “deathday” in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
He died in 1492, meaning the second Harry Potter book was set in 1992 when the wizard was in his second year of secondary school, aged 12.
Count 12 years back from 1992 and Nearly Headless Nick’s party confirms Potter was born in 1980.
So he’s definitely not 26?
No, Daniel Radcliffe may be 26, but it turns out the books (and films) were set at least half a decade before their release date, meaning Potter is quite a bit older in ‘real life’.
How old is Harry Potter in the final book?
Harry Potter was in his final year of school in The Deathly Hallows, and was about to turn 18 when the book ends after his victorious defeat during the Battle of Hogwarts.
What about the flash forward epilogue?Harry and Ginny see their three children James Sirius, Albus Severus and Lily Luna onto the train to Hogwarts 19 years after the events of Deathly Hallows.
Assuming the chapter is set in September at the start of the school year, Harry Potter would be 37 in the epilogue. Fans will have to wait until 2017 for that fateful day when Potter’s age catches us with the final scene in the books.
Harry Potter stars then and now
Harry Potter stars then and now
1/8 Daniel Radcliffe
The transformation of Daniel Radcliffe from the small boy pictured (right) at the first Harry Potter premiere has grown up into a critically acclaimed actor, seen earlier this year walking the red carpet.
2/8 Emma Watson
Emma Watson, seen (right) at the very first Harry Potter premiere, has gone from acting strength to strength, despite declaring at one point she would be quitting acting to pursue other projects.
3/8 Rupert Grint
Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the films, pictured at the very first premiere (aged 13) and earlier this year.
4/8 Matthew Lewis
Possibly the biggest transformation is Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom in the films. Pictured (right) at the premiere of the Goblet of Fire and (left) earlier this year.
5/8 Tom Felton
Harry's on-screen tormentor Draco Malfoy, played by Tom Felton, who commented that after finishing Harry Potter he was looking forward to playing a less spiteful character.
6/8 Robert Pattinson
Robert Pattinson only appeared in one of the Harry Potter films, despite this it helped to launch him as a globally recognised actor today. Pictured (left) at the premiere of Goblet of Fire and (right) earlier this year at an Australian ceremony
7/8 Bonnie Wright
Harry's on-screen long-term love interest Ginny Weasley was played by Bonnie Wright, pictured (right) at the Prisoners of Azkaban premiere and earlier this year.
8/8 James and Oliver Phelps
James and Oliver Phelps played the wise-cracking Weasley twins and the two were picture together again earlier this year.